CONTRIBUTED BY: ALEXIS TUCKER
My husband and I are always on the hunt for places where we can take our dog, June, with us. I always saw this structure from many angles in the Graf and Netz area that sat upon a hill. I am sure you have noticed it as well. My curiosity got to me and so Thomas and I took our dog there. We found out you could hike and that it is called Rauher Kulm. Once we reached the top our dog was so tired we had to carry her down in my bag, haha!
The structure that I noticed is actually an observation tower. We could even see where we lived! It was exciting to finally get to see what the structure was and from a different angle. It offered a panoramic view of the northern Franconian Switzerland, the southern wall of the Fictelgebirge moutain range, and the Upper Palatinate Forest.
The mountain is one of the most imposing basalt mountains of Bavaria and had interesting rocks jutting out here and there. I read that during the Paleocene-Pilocene period this volcano produced liquid magma and during the Middle Ages a castle was built on top of Rauher Kulm but during the Second Margrave War the castle was destroyed after it was sieged. Since Thomas and I are huge history nerds we thought that was really cool.
It was difficult to find Kulm because I couldn’t find an address online but I typed in the town, Neustadt am Kulm and we took the street Rauher-Kulm-Strasse next to the restaurant and followed that up the hill to where you can see parking & a bathroom for the hiking trails. If you use the address below in your GPS, you will be on the correct road to the tower and can continue to follow it to your destination.
If you are the romantic type bring a lock to add to the railing at the top of the tower and pack a picnic. You can stop at the picnic table that offers a dreamy and hazy view of the quaint German towns we call home or at the gazebo that is surrounded by lush moss rocks and evergreens. This is place is not the easiest hike though so bring a good pair of shoes and a hiking buddy. I highly recommend visiting if you’re the curious type and enjoy being outdoors. It won’t disappoint and it was only 15 minutes from Graf. Who could ask for more?
Address for your GPS:
(This address will get you to the base of the road, continue to follow it to reach the observation tower.)
95514 Neustadt am Kulm, Germany